Effortless style is hard to come by, usually because it means spending a great deal of time in the mirror trying to look like you haven’t made an effort. Yeah, we can tell. Thankfully hair trends are beginning to reflect the idea that people just don’t have the time they once had.

That’s where sea salt spray comes in. It offers all the benefits of natural sea water and the heat of the sun to provide textured, just-messy-enough waves, without having to get seaweed between your toes.

After a quick spritz post-shower when your hair is damp, it will dry naturally and, with a small amount of teasing, the product creates a gently tussled and fuss free look, removing all the usual time it takes to look ‘effortless’.

Because the salt absorbs the natural oils, hair looks fuller and is easier to style. Think Orlando Bloom and Harry Styles as perfect examples of that tousled look. “Because it’s much lighter than other styling products it can help achieve the desired look without making the hair look greasy like some heavier products might, particularly in warmer weather,” says Kenny Baker, barber at Ruffians barbershop.

Sea salt spray hairstyles

Salt spray is versatile, and not designed for wavy hair. It can make thicker hair easier to control, without adding the weight of the usual products like gels or putties. And with a spritz of sea salt spray, those with thinning hair gain a feeling of thicker, more textured tresses.

How To Use Sea Salt Spray

Salt spray works best when sprayed directly around the mid-length, so don’t overload the roots. As with most hair products, salt spray requires a trial-and-error approach when deciding just how much to use. Too much can cause the hair to feel dehydrated, so start small.

When to use it depends completely on the look you want. For messier styles, spray it into your palms and scrunch it into damp hair when you’re drying. “Spritz it a few times on to damp hair before styling to give a boost to the body, or apply to dry hair to increase volume and create a matt finish,” says Baker.

Not that it only works for deliberately unkempt styles. “For sharper-looking styles, comb your hair once the spray is applied to set the basic shape before blow-drying and applying a styling cream or pomade to finish it off.

“I love using it on a modern messy pompadour,” Baker adds. “It gives it a wonderfully soft finish, helps bring out natural movement and the style will keep its shape no matter how many times you run your fingers through it.”

The Best Brands For Sea Salt Spray

Toni and Guy

No collection of the best sea salt sprays would be complete without a mention of Toni and Guy. This brand of brothers originated in London in the 1960s and boasts a wealth of hairdressing awards. Its salt spray offers an affordable product and undeniable brand quality. As with most of its hair care offerings, the spray is wallet-friendly, and not much of the product is needed in order to get the desired result.

Buy Now: £4.95

Toni & Guy Men Messy Salt Spray, 200 ml

Original and Mineral Surf Bomb Sea Salt Spray

When not just any salt will cut it, Original and Mineral steps up with Australian sea salt. They know a thing or two about beachy waves down there. The brand tries to keep the list of chemicals in its products to a minimum, offering instead natural extracts and active minerals.

Buy Now: £22.00

ORIGINAL & MINERAL SURF BOMB SEA SALT SPRAY (150ML)

Parlour by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spary

The possible drawback of using salt spray is that it can dehydrate your hair or create build-up, which is why getting the quantity right is essential. Parlour’s sea salt spray helps to remedy the side-effects as it’s infused with almond in order to maintain the hair’s softness and fight against the dehydrating qualities of the salt.

Buy Now: £17.00

PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

New York-based Bumble and Bumble started life with only two salons in the city and now boasts a high-quality range of products for all hair types. Its surf spray promises to replicate the effects of spending a day on a warm and windy coastline – tousled, textured hair, with a matt finish.

Buy Now: £12.00

Bumble and bumble Surf Spray 50ml

Davines Sea Salt Spray

Straight to the point with this sea salt spray from Davines. While most products excel on wet hair, this sea salt spray works on both wet or dry hair and the slow release of the ingredients means that the hair is moisturised and won’t dry out too much. It’s a product with fewer chemicals, paraben-free with a subtle beachy scent.

Buy Now: £17.00

DAVINES Sea Salt Spray 250ml

Redken Fashion Wave 07 Sea Salt Spray

Redken certainly has its reputation to live up to with its sea salt spray. The company has been creating bathroom hair care staples for almost 60 years, so it’s no surprise they’ve tapped into the trend for sea salt spray. Their offering is lightweight, so there’s no crunchy feeling to the hair and gives a matt finish with just enough texture, though probably less hold, too. This is a product for those who want to dip their toe into sea salt spray. Use on damp hair and reapply when required.

Buy Now: £14.54

Redken Unisex Fashion 07 Waves Sea Salt Spray Hair Care 250 ml

Verb Sea Spray

Sea salt spray is great, but the reason it’s so effective is because of the drying quality of the salt. The danger of using too much is that the hair can feel dehydrated. To counterbalance the salt, Verb’s sea salt spray is infused with quinoa protein to help maintain the hair’s softness. Sunflower seed extract also provides UV protection, making this a great choice for a beach holiday.

Buy Now: $13.00

Verb Sea Spray - Windswept Waves + Light Dry Texture 6.3oz

Fudge Sea Salt Spray

For a sea salt spray that works hard, look to Fudge. This spray promises to work on the dullest and limpest of hair to create a raw, textured look, and offers B vitamins to prevent it from drying out. Spritz onto damp hair for best results, then either leave it to dry naturally, or style further with heat for a crisp and flexible finish.

Buy Now: £6.99

Fudge Urban Sea Salt 150ml

How To Make Your Own Sea Salt Spray

Sea salt spray replicates a day spent on warm, breezy shores, a fully natural environment. So a clever way to avoid spraying chemicals around your face would be to use a DYI spray. The beauty of salt spray is that it’s completely uncomplicated.

For a basic sea salt spray, only three ingredients are required, not including the water. In order to create your own salt spray, follow these simple instructions.

  1. Combine one tablespoon of salt with a cup of warm water, shaking vigorously until the salt dissolves.
  2. Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil and mix with some leave-in conditioner, in a separate bowl.
  3. Now simply combine the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake before use as the ingredients can settle.
  4. If you want to give your hair a specific scent or moisturising qualities, add some essential oils from the bathroom cabinet. Easy.